Beginning October 1st, Phase One of the Seventh Circuit’s new Electronic Discovery Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”) will begin. The Pilot Program will be implemented through Standing Orders in selected cases, and evaluated through questionnaires to participating judges and lawyers.
The Pilot Program was developed as a result of recent and ongoing discussions throughout the industry regarding the need for cooperation and reform, especially in light “the rising burden and cost of discovery in litigation in the United States brought on primarily by the use of electronically stored information…”
The goal of the Principles is to incentivize early and informal information exchange on commonly encountered issues relating to evidence preservation and discovery, paper and electronic, as required by Rule26(f)(2). Too often these exchanges begin with unhelpful demands for the preservation of all data, which often are followed by exhaustive lists of types of storage devices. Such generic demands lead to generic objections that similarly fail to identify specific issues concerning evidence preservation and discovery that could productively be discussed and resolved early in the case by agreement or order of the court. As a result, the parties often fail to focus on identifying specific sources of evidence that are likely to be sought in discovery but that may be problematic or unduly burdensome or costly to preserve or produce.